LISD convened a special meeting, “Building Security and State in Afghanistan: A Critical Assessment” on the Princeton University campus, October 17-19, 2003. Representatives of the Afghan government, NGOs, and diplomats assigned to Afghanistan participated in the meeting from Kabul via video conference. Funding for the meeting was provided in part by a project grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Participants agreed that security and state-building are closely interconnected in Afghanistan and that solutions will therefore also need to be holistic. Underscoring the reciprocal nature of security and state-building, participants urged greater focus on and international financial assistance to both security and state-building policies. In particular, participants called on the international community to devote greater resources now to building Afghanistan’s policing and military capacity and to meeting the requirements for fair and free elections in June 2004, such as voter registration and civil education campaigns. Without increased capacity in Afghanistan, there can be no longer-term solution to the security situation, nor to the ability to have a democratic government.